California college student ‘Banana Plug’ app to sell drugs: prosecutors

Collin Howard, 18, is facing felony charges for allegedly creating a iPhone app it the nickname “Banana Plug” for the sell of illegal drugs.
(Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

A California college student has been sued for allegedly creating a phone app that he sold the drugs, the officials said.

Collin Howard, 18, was arrested on federal drug charges Friday after a grand jury indicted him on Thursday, the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said in a press release.


A freshman at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Howard reportedly made an app called “Banana Plug,” which was available on the Apple App Store, in addition to the motto, “We Have What You Want.”

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Through the app, the student offered to sell cocaine, “Molly” and “magic mushrooms”, and also that customers have special requirements, prosecutors said.

A university police officer who saw posters advertising for the app around on the campus then worked with the Department of Homeland Security to try to get drugs from Howard via the application.

Authorities used the app to request weed and cocaine and then agreed with Howard on Snapchat to buy the drugs, according to the officers of justice. The undercover sting operation four separate drug buys. On the fourth encounter, campus police don’t buy drugs of Howard and instead arrested him.


Scott Hernandez-Jason, a spokesman for the school, told The Associated Press that Howard is “no longer a student of the [at] UC Santa Cruz.” Citing student privacy laws, Hernandez-Jason refused to say if Howard was expelled or voluntarily withdrew.

Howard, who pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges in San Jose after a grand jury indicted him on Feb. 14, was released on bail in the federal and state court. He had earlier pleaded not guilty to similar drug charges in Santa Cruz County, where he was arrested in his dorm room on Nov. 28.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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